These (former) soldiers took center stage during the opening ceremony in the Koninklijke Schouwburg. Four of them told their personal stories. About their experiences in countries such as Afghanistan, Mali, Iraq, but also in the Dutch East Indies. The stories made a deep impression on Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld-Schouten. They dwelt on the sacrifices that have been made.
“Freedom is not self-evident,” said Rutte. “And you veterans, you have committed yourself to that somewhere in the world and somewhere in our history or in the here and now. And we can’t thank you enough for that. We do that on Veterans Day. That’s why I wear the white carnation. That is why we have this meeting today. And that’s why we all want a normal Veterans Day again next year. For this is your day.”
Missions in Afghanistan
Bijleveld responded to the end of the Dutch contribution to the missions in Afghanistan. The last Dutch soldiers have been back since yesterday. “Huge sacrifices have been made, by Afghans, by NATO soldiers and by our own people. We lost 25 colleagues and many more were injured, physically and/or mentally. We never forget that. And we never forget them. Their commitment, and the commitment of the more than 675,000 military personnel during 3 wars and more than 100 missions, has our deepest respect.”
White Carnation Flowerbed
Veterans Day was also celebrated in other parts of the country. For example, several municipalities opened their own White Carnation Perkje. As a symbol for recognition and appreciation of veterans. That happened in places such as Wierden, Almelo, Hoogeveen, Arnhem, Helmond, Sneek, Kerkrade, Noordwijkerhout, Vlissingen and Vlaardingen. The veterans flag also flew throughout the Netherlands.
Veterans Day has been organized since 2005 by the National Committee Veterans Day. This always happens on the last Saturday of June.
Appropriate attention during Veterans Day: ‘Hopefully next year another normal day’
Source link Appropriate attention during Veterans Day: ‘Hopefully next year another normal day’